Boost your social skills with Heineken’s boring phone

Heineken’s new marketing gimmick is The Boring Phone which has no access to the internet, social media or other apps.

The brewer has teamed up with HMD Global, which makes Nokia models, for a limited production run, though details about availability are unclear.

The boring phone concept was dreamt up by US brand and retail marketplace Bodega, on the basis that there is more to their social life when there is less on their phone.

The phone’s primary function is to send and receive calls and text messages.

Bodega said the phone’s transparent casing and holographic stickers draw inspiration from Gen Z’s enthusiasm for  Newtro fashion and design and are reminiscent of mobile phones of the early 2000s.

Heineken research found that 90% of young people confess to scrolling while socialising with friends and family, checking their devices seven times each night out on average.

Two-thirds admit to checking social media (62%) when hanging out with others, while a third confess to checking work emails. Three in ten also revealed they sneakily play games instead of engaging with their family and friends in the moment.

However one in five survey respondent said they turn off their phone or leave it at home ahead of social occasions.

Nabil Nasser, global head of Heineken, commented: “When we spoke to our Gen Z and Millennial consumers about their smartphone usage, we realised that many feel they are habitually distracted when socialising by their device but also admit they didn’t want to go completely phone-free.

“In creating The Boring Phone we have gone back to basics, we have dialled down the tech to help people truly connect over a beer, without any distraction from the constant buzzing and dings.”

Oliver Mak, co-founder of Bodega, stated: “Despite having grown up surrounded by technology, Gen Z and Millennials are now recognising that our dependence on our phones is impacting our ability to make actual, real-life connections. This in turn impacts our ability to have fun, and on a macro level, the development of culture.

“Smartphones can be too interesting, so we wanted to design a boring one. We were really inspired by the rise of Newtro and wanted to reinterpret a past cultural icon that some younger Zillennials may not have experienced before.”

Mak said an app that will turn smartphones boring will also be launched in June.

By Bury